Sunday, August 28 presents
Bassist Victor Wooten & photographer Greg Kessler

Photographing Bass Camp and The Flecktones
November 09, 2000

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Ed: Greg, at what age did you get into photography? And who, in the photographic world do you draw the most inspiration from?

Greg: I got into photography my sophomore year of high school and instantly fell in love with it, although by no means was I instantly successful. In the music photography world, rock-n-roll photographer Jim Marshall is a huge inspiration. I got a chance to meet him when I was on a shoot in San Francisco last year. It was a real high point of my career. As far as photographers, Henri Cartier Bressant is just an amazing photographer. He's the one who coined the slogan, "the decisive moment."

Ed: Victor, how do you spend your recreation time (or do you have time for any!)?

Victor: Look at the depth of that picture that's there now. That's a great shot.

Greg: Yeah, I really like that one.

Victor: I try to spend as much time with my family as I can, and I love hanging out in woods. Usually in my off time, I'm not playing music. But that's because I'm usually always playing music. There's not much off time.

Cornpoppy: When I think of the bass I think of the legendary Klaus Voorman - do you know him or his work, or am I dating myself by asking this question?

Victor: I do know who Klaus Voorman is, but I'm not very familiar with his work.

Ed: Victor, how does it feel having someone taking photos of you on and off stage? Do you get a say in when and where the shots are taken?

Victor: Most of the time, you don't have a say of where the shots are used. But you usually do have a say of when and where the shots are taken, and it can be very distracting to have a camera in your face. But with the good photographers, you don't know they're there.

El Fotografo: When taking a picture, what do you think about most?

Greg: I think about capturing "the decisive moment." I think about trying to create visually and emotionally stirring images. With music photography, I'm at a point now where many of the musicians treat me as an artist, and there's a mutual respect for each other. And to me, when both artists have established that sort of relationship, the most honest and expressive images are able to develop.

Len Monster: Greg, have you learned anything from Vic's music that relates to your photography, and Vic, have you learned anything from Greg's photography that you can relate to your music?

Greg: That's a great question! Being at Vic's bass camp really brought out a lot of different things for me to think about. I was able to relate a lot of the things that Victor said to musicians and make a connection to photography. For example, one of the things that Vic talked about was wide-angle vision. In a nutshell, what that means is always being aware of everything around you in a 360 degree vision. And I can apply, and have applied since bass camp, other skills that Vic taught at the camp towards photography.

Victor: Photography, to me, is like being in a band where all of life is your band members. Like when you're playing with a band, you have to pay attention to the other band members, but a good photographer is paying attention to all of life so he doesn't miss the shot. A good photographer can also help capture many of the beautiful moments that are always happening in life. Being a live musician, those moments can come and go so quickly. But photography, like recording music, can preserve those moments.

Mary: Greg, will you have a gallery of the camp shots online at some point? These are all great work.

Greg: Hi Mary. Thanks for your nice comment. I anticipate them being up on Vic's website soon,, as well as on by the end of next week. I hope everyone has a chance to check out my website, that will have some of these pictures as well as many more.

Bass Cat: Victor, you really opened up my eyes about how much nature can help every aspect of your musical and non musical life, Thank you.

Victor: Thank you also for helping me. Life is a forever-learning process. We help each other.

CC 498 Guest: Greg, can we purchase any prints of these shots? I particularly like the shot up on screen now.

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